Everyone who has spent time with a young child knows how much toddlers and children love to engage in imaginative play. Many studies indicate that creative role play in the early childhood years can have a host of psychological and social benefits. Some of the ways that playing make-believe can enhance child development include increased attention levels, better memory skills, increased literacy skills, help with interpreting emotions and social nuances, and heightened empathy abilities.
Creative role play is the foundation of early child development and should be a core component of early childhood education. Most daycare, preschool, and kindergarten classrooms include a play kitchen set, a toddler toy workbench, or a toddler tool set for kids to mimic adult roles with which they relate.
Parents and caregivers may be searching for the best kids’ workbench for toddlers or small children. We found some of the best-selling and highest rated toy workbenches to see what features and benefits they offer at a good value. Here is what we learned about some of the best toy workbenches available.
|Top 3 Toddler Workbench||Product Highlight||Gardenlife Rating|
|Hape Master Workbench||Award Winning Best Toddler Workbench||Check price|
|Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench||Best Wooden Kids Workbench||Check price|
|ToyVelt Workbench||Budget Toddler Workbench||Check price|
This Black and Decker Workbench Workshop is an Amazon best-seller with a variety of features and attachments at an affordable price range.
This toy workbench for toddlers includes 75 pieces including a miter saw, drill, handsaw, hammer, and wrench, toolbox, nails nuts and screws. Storage bins underneath the workbench are handy for storing all those little pieces.
All the pieces in this set are designed to look like miniature versions of authentic Black and Decker tools, including the signature orange and black colors.
The variety of pieces include both larger handheld toy tools that help develop large motor skills, as well as small pieces that provide good opportunities to develop fine motor skills.
Most of the reviews on Amazon were from happy customers whose kids or students loved playing with toy power tools included in the set.
Among the benefits of the Black and Decker Junior Power Workbench Workshop listed by happy consumers were its sturdiness and how easy it was to assemble. (Any parent who has stayed up late on Christmas Eve to put together a toy can appreciate a simple assembly!)
A few customers regretted their purchase, however, reporting that some of the battery-operated parts did not work well or did not work at all. Others felt like the plastic material was too thin and made the structure insecure.
The toy phone included in this set only has stickers and does not feature lifelike buttons.
Overall, this toy set seems like a good value considering all of its features and most customers who took the time to leave a review were happy with their purchase.
This Step2 Deluxe Workshop Workbench looks quite an impressive set up. It is one of the pricier options where kids’ and toddlers’ play sets are concerned, but it includes 50 accessories that would cost more if they were purchased separately.
One unique feature of the Step 2 Deluxe Workshop is that it includes Durafoam pieces that look like wood pieces.
Little ones can use their pretend tools and foam “wood” pieces to form their own creations. Instructions are included for four projects, as well, such as a bird house and airplane. The pieces have grooves like puzzle pieces that allow them to fit together in different patterns.
This unique feature has several benefits. First, the “wood-working” projects included in this set can help kids develop problem-solving skills that are essential to appropriate early cognitive development, as well as social, emotional, and fine motor skills.
In addition to the psychological and physical benefits, the projects offer parents, caregivers, and teachers the opportunity to engage with kids one-on-one and create something together.
The Step 2 Deluxe Workshop received overwhelmingly positive reviews from happy customers online. It sounds like this set is ideal for children ages 2 - 5. It may be a good height for kids in this age group and the toy tools are a chunky enough for little ones to manage easily.
This set does require some assemble. Electric screwdrivers are recommended as opposed to manual screwdrivers, as there are multiple screws and large pieces that can be hard to assemble without a drill.
Like the Step 2 Deluxe bench we mentioned earlier, the Step 2 Real Projects Toy Workshop provides not only a place for kids to pretend to use tools, but it also includes actual projects and items for them to assemble. Instructions included in the set have blueprints for a birdhouse, airplane, tool caddy, and boat.
Considering all of the accessories - it comes with 65 pieces - it is a mid-priced kids toy workbench. It is designed with children ages 2 -5 in mind and is a good height for most kids within that age range.
One of the main features of this toy workshop is the battery powered drill that makes realistic drill sounds and comes with interchangeable bits. In addition to the drill, this set also includes a hammer, saw, foam pieces that look like wood, and plastic nuts, bolts, and screws.
The Real Projects Toy Workshop has a solid four-star rating on Amazon, with hundreds of satisfied customers reporting that they were happy with their purchase.
This toddler workshop sounds like it was easy to assemble, and most consumers felt like it was sturdy. It is usually a popular play set for preschool-aged kids.
A few customers were not happy with their purchase, voicing dissatisfaction with the battery-operated drill and instructions that were difficult to follow. Some customers also had a bad experience with shipping.
The Master workbench by Hape is available at a more affordable price point compared to some of the other deluxe sets we have mentioned.
Designed for children ages 3 and up, the height is adjustable so it can be customized to some extent. This toy workbench features bright colors and may not look as life-like as some of the others, but it does include a toy hammer, wrench, screwdriver, and play nuts and bolts.
This item is Amazon’s Choice toddler workbench, with excellent reviews. Although designed for kids ages 3 and up, some parents and caregivers recommended it for little ones as young as 18 months.
The Hape Master Workbench also gets excellent ratings for assembly - and what parent doesn’t love a toy with hassle free assembly?
While some families may use this toy for young toddlers, it does include small pieces like the plastic nuts and bolts. For kids who are prone to putting things in their mouths, some of the pieces may pose a choking hazard.
Most online reviews for the Hape Master Workbench are positive, but a few customers did complain about broken or missing pieces. Overall, this product does have good feedback and a competitive price point.
The Tough Workshop by Little Tikes may be another great option for toddlers who love to pretend building things. Excellent customer reviews combined with a lower price point make it the go-to for many parents and caregivers. This product includes 11 accessories, including a built-in saw, hammer, screwdriver, and nails.
This Little Tikes workbench received 4.5 stars on Amazon and has overwhelmingly good reviews. It seems to be quite popular with little ones between the ages of 18 months and 4 years. Adults also recommend it for its sturdiness and easy assembly.
This product can probably be assembled quickly with just a manual screwdriver and the large plastic parts seem to be sturdy, according to consumer reviews.
Even though this workshop receives hundreds of positive comments, a few customers had trouble with damaged plastic pieces and other manufacturing issues.
The bulky pieces may be a good option for young toddlers who are still developing hand and finger dexterity. At 21.5 inches in height, it is less than two feet tall and may not be well-suited for children past the preschool age. Still, for the price and durability, it remains a popular choice for toddler tool sets.
This Play Construction Workbench by Boley Brothers includes 88 pieces made from non-toxic materials. Considering all its accessories, it is available at a competitive price point and the manufacturer does offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Some of the accessories included with this product include a hammer, drill, saw, bolts, and screws.
It also comes with a box that can be used to store some of the smaller pieces and the workbench itself folds into a convenient carrying case. Many of the pretend power tools are also battery operated and make realistic sounds.
Dozens of satisfied customers took the time to leave positive reviews for this product, reporting that kids between the ages of 18 months and 5 years enjoyed playing with it. Like most toy workbenches, this product may be a good addition to centers in early childhood classrooms and daycare centers.
There were some dissatisfied customers, however. Some consumers reported that the instructions were incomplete and that the stickers did not align with their corresponding places on the plastic.
Other manufacturing issues included screws and nuts that did not thread into the appropriate plates.
This Wooden play workbench by Melissa and Doug is a moderately priced option for kids between 2 and 5 years old. The plain, solid wood design gives it an old-fashioned, classic look and it includes dozens of accessories such as a hammer, hand-held saw, wrench, nails, and screws.
At 26 inches in height, it is one of the taller options available, as opposed to some of the smaller workbenches designed primarily for toddlers.
This product has hundreds of good reviews. Most customers are happy with its quality and easy assembly. It seems to be a hit with most kids, as well.
Some customers did mention some manufacturing issues, such as screw holes that were too small or did not align properly. On average, it took most customers an hour to assemble this toy workbench.
Designed for babies between 6 and 12 months, the Fisher Price Laugh and Learning Workbench features lots of bright colors, lights and sounds that can engage infants and promote cognitive development.
The design helps encourage babies to sit up and face the sounds and lights, which may help encourage little ones to sit independently and strengthen their backs.
Several hundred customers were happy with the purchase and recommended it. There is volume control to help keep noise at an appropriate level.
Some customers did mention that the product can be top heavy and tips over easily if little ones tug too hard on it, however it is not a heavy weight that could injure a little one.
With so many positive reviews, this fun and interactive little singing workbench may be a good toy for infants between 6 to 12 months.
This Little Tykes workshop product may be a good option for parents looking for baby and toddler tool sets. This small toy is a good size for babies between 6 to 18 months.
Bright colored, bulky nails light up and make noises when they are hit with the plastic hammer. This can help develop hand-eye coordination as well as the maturation of motor skills and hand dexterity during that first formative year.
Although this product may contain fun features for babies, it is one of the pricier options available. Several solid reviews online reported that it was a good size for children around one year old and said that their little ones enjoyed playing with it.
However, a common complaint was the cost. Some customers felt like it should have had more features for the price that they paid. Still, over 70 percent of the reviews we read were positive ones.
The Theo Klein Junior Workbench is designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners between the ages of 3 and 8 and features a European design. Because of some small pieces included with this toy, the manufacturer does not recommend it for children under 3 or for kids who still like to put things in their mouths.
While the manufacturer advertises this product for children up to 8 years-old, it stands less than 22 inches tall. So, the ideal age group for this junior workbench may be preschoolers as opposed to older kids.
This set comes with a yellow plastic hard hat, which may be appealing for kids who love to play dress-up. Some of the toys include a hammer, saw, and wrench along with multiple nails, screws, and bolts.
Even though the manufacturer does not recommend using this workbench for children under three, many of the parents and caregivers who wrote product reviews indicated that it was a good size for children as young as 18 months old.
Most of the consumers were happy with their purchase, but as few customers were unhappy with the height of the toy workbench or felt like it was not sturdy enough.
This looks like another neat product by Hape. The My Handy Workshop toy workbench for kids has a more classic look combined with bright colors. Although the manufacturer advertises this toy as a good fit for kids ages 3 to 6, it is only a little over 15 inches tall.
Taller kids still may enjoy sitting in the floor and playing with the tools and workbench, but toddlers might be the only age group that can stand and play.
Most of the online customers who took the time to write a review were happy with their purchase, and their kids were, too.
The toy hammer, wrench, and screwdriver may provide opportunities for kids to exercise varying levels of fine motor skills, while the wooden ruler included may help encourage early math skills, as well.
Some customers were unhappy with the size, complaining that this workbench by Hape was much shorter than they had expected. Others noticed manufacturing errors or experienced shipping issues.
Many of the reviews reiterated the manufacturer’s claims of sturdiness and durability. At a low to moderate price point, this toy workbench might be a good choice for many parents or caregivers looking for more wood, as opposed to plastic, and searching for toy to fit in a smaller space.
The size may be ideal for small bedrooms or playrooms in apartments or homes that do not have much free space available.
This Deluxe Workbench by KidKraft has a more classic, traditional design. Clean lines and bright colors give it a cheerful appearance.
Kids are often attracted to bright colors as opposed to natural tones. No power tools are included in this set, nor is there any need for batteries.
Traditional toy tools like hammer, screwdriver, and wrench may help encourage creativity in young kids while allowing ample opportunities for them to use their motor skills.
Hammering toy nails into round openings in the bench and twisting bulky screws can also help with hand-eye coordination. Storage bins are included with the set and can come in handy for the ten pretend screws and bolts.
This set is usually available at a comparatively low price point. At 10 pounds, it may also be a sturdier option than some of the other plastic toy workbenches available.
It looks like the accessories included in this set are not small enough to be considered choking hazards, and toddlers as young as 16 months may enjoy hammering away at this workbench.
Of the online customers who reported their experiences in a review, most of them were extremely satisfied with their purchase. Most parents and caregivers felt like it was easy to assemble and would be a durable toy that could withstand rough play that often accompanies the toddler and early childhood years.
It sounds like the average time to assemble this workbench is just around 20 minutes, which may make it a good gift item (We are thinking about all those Christmas Eve’s that are spent assembling large toys for Christmas morning!).
Despite the mostly positive reviews, a handful of customers did not fell it offered enough features or that it was sturdy enough for toddlers.
This cool-looking 120-piece Workbench by Young Choi is advertised for boys, but girls often enjoy playing with tools, too. The electric drill is battery-operated; it rotates and makes realistic sounds – a feature most kids love!
With all the small pieces included in this set, it seems like kids could get a lot of fine motor skill practice while they are playing and having fun.
Compared to other toy workbenches, this product is available at a good price point. The manufacturer also offers a 30-day money back guarantee for any defects or dissatisfied customers.
Hundreds of customers left raving reviews online, praising this product’s affordability, durability, and easy assembly.
Most kids enjoyed its presence in the playroom or classroom. Just a few of the reviews we read were negative, reporting missing pieces or expressing disappointment about the height.
At just 21 inches, this may be a good option for preschoolers, but because there do seem to be lots of small pieces that could pose a problem as choking hazards, it is a good idea to monitor children who like to put toys in their mouths.
This 68-piece Toy Workbench is one of Amazon’s best-selling play workbenches for preschoolers. Just 16 inches tall, this product comes at a comparatively low price point and includes a battery-operated drill, hammer, saw, wrench, and other accessories. This bench is made of plastic and the drill makes sounds.
Preschoolers may be especially drawn to this product because of its small size and plenty of accessories that fit well into little hands. Scaled markings on the adjustable micrometer may also encourage early math skills kindergarten and early elementary aged kids.
Hundreds of reviews for this workbench were positive, claiming that kids loved it the set was easy to put together, and affordable. Most parents and caregivers believed the bench to be sturdy and durable.
A few customers, however, were not so thrilled. Some reported that the workbench did not hold up well over several months, saying that the drill stopped working after a few weeks and that the plastic pieces broke after just a few months.
Considering its affordable price, dozens of features, and hundreds of happy reviews, the ToyVelt Kids Toy Workbench may still be a good option for many young kids.
For parents or caregivers looking for the best toddler tool set, the Melissa & Doug Take-Along wooden tool kit may be a good option. It is one of the more affordable options available and includes 24 pieces.
This toy set is designed with little ones in mind, providing ample opportunities to develop hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, as well as color and shape recognition.
This product and all of its accessories are made of wood, as opposed to plastic, which may make it sturdier and longer lasting.
Melissa & Doug is often considered to be a trusted brand for toys that enhance early child development, and many of their products are staple items in daycare, preschool, and early childhood classrooms.
This set features a wooden box and handle that probably makes carrying it and storing the accessories more convenient.
Overall, this kit received excellent reviews from customers who took the time to review their purchases. Most consumers were happy with the quality and their kids loved playing with the set.
Less than ten percent, however, were unhappy with the product and did not recommend it. Some customers did not like the design or reported flaws in the wood.
This Wooden Toolbox set by Hape is another popular choice for the budding engineer who loves to design and build toys.
Recommended for children ages 3 and older, this product seems to encourage ingenuity and creativity while also helping to develop motor skills and cognitive abilities.
As a mid-priced product, this set is also recognized for using non-toxic paint. Some of the pieces are small and can present a choking hazard, so it is not suggested for use among little ones younger than 3 years of age.
Because of its mid-price range, and quality of materials, this creative toy remains a popular choice for many parents. With larger pieces, it may be a good transition toy for kids who like to create but are still too young to possess the fine motor skills necessary for model airplanes and small connecting blocks.
The product reviews for this Master Builder set are almost all positive. A few customers noticed that the play tools included were of lesser quality than the other pieces.
Imaginative play is an organic manifestation of normal, healthy kids. Children often copy the behaviors of adults around them, and for kids who spend time outdoors with gardeners or working around the house, it is natural for them to emulate the activities they observe around them with a play space.
Stationary play sets, such as kids’ workbenches, are great toys that encourage kids to flex their imagination muscles. It is not uncommon for kids to spend several hours a week playing with toy tool benches that encourage creativity.
In the age of technology, the American Association of Pediatrics reports that young kids can spend a staggering six hours a day in front of a screen, including televisions, tables, and various media. The AAP recommends that toddlers and young children ages 2 - 5 spend no more than one hour per day watching TV, tablets, phones, or playing video games.
What better way to encourage unplugged play time for children than to invest in toys that allow the imagination to flourish?
As we mentioned, toy workbenches can be a good way to encourage creativity. We think that kids toy workbenches and toddler tool sets make great Christmas and birthday gifts and are a great addition to any play area in the home or classroom.
Young kids are characterized by their busy-ness, constantly using their imaginations to role play and mimic behaviors of the adults around them. But imaginative play is not just play; it is the way kids learn and signals appropriate cognitive and social emotional development during the early years.
Toy workbenches and tool sets are just some of the products kids can use to engage in imaginative role play. In addition to the psychological benefits that accompany make-believe, playing with pretend tools can also help encourage normal motor skill development and good hand-eye coordination.
Providing kids with toys that help them associate work with fun may also have long-lasting benefits. It is possible that kids who grow up pretending to work may have healthier work ethics as teens and young adults.
When choosing the best toddler workbench or kids tool bench, there are some practical steps that parents or caregivers can follow. First, consider factors such as age, size, and learning curve.
All kids are different and that is okay! In early childhood, just a few months can make a big difference. Not all 18-month-old toddlers will enjoy toy tool sets but some of them will. Some kids may struggle manipulating smaller pieces longer than others. A child’s age and abilities will determine the right type of toy.
Second, consider price and features. Most parents know how quickly kids can outgrow or get bored with a toy. Usually, they try to find an affordable option and it may not matter if the toy is still in great condition after a year.
For teachers and caregivers, however, a toy may need to last through several classes and years. Durability may be a bigger factor than cost in these circumstances. Just think about who will be using the toy workbench, how it can benefit them, and how long it will be needed.